A Round-up of Argyle News
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Also included on the three most recent days, facts from Argyle's history.
New Argyle striker Jake Jervis is delighted to once again be linking up with Argyle manager Derek Adams. The Scottish manager and the journeyman forward worked together at Ross County for a few short months before Adams was relieved from his duties at the Dingwall side. However, Adams clearly made such an impression in the short time they worked together for him to be a positive contributing factor when Jervis was deciding which club to sign for. The striker said: “I enjoyed that a lot and did really well under him so, when I got the call, it was something I was very interested in. It didn’t take long to come down and get it sorted. It was a good experience. I’ve played League 1 and League 2 in England and playing at Celtic Park and places like that was really good. It’ll be good to get back to England, though. I’ve been at a lot of clubs, seen a lot of different things and experienced a lot of stuff – now it’s about stability and playing games. I think I’m good on the ball and I’m quite quick, as well, considering my size, so I look to use that, getting in behind and get on the ball as much as I can to get goals. It’s not just about goals but, at the same time, that’s what everyone gets judged on as a striker. You have got to bring a lot more than that nowadays. You have got to be able to hold the ball up and be a threat in behind; even something as simple as winning throw-ins down the side and keeping hold of the ball. That’s what you have got to do in these kind of leagues.”
Adams himself mirrored Jervis's words by being very complimentary about the striker himself. He said: “We’ve had a busy time, trying to sign new players, and Jake’s our second signing of the summer. He’s a striker that has had a lot of experience in the English leagues and has scored goals. He’s been on loan a number of times. I am delighted to have him join us. He’s got a good presence about him; a good touch; an eye for goal; a very good work-rate; and it’s something I think will benefit the team. He was a youngster at Birmingham and came through. He has been taught the right way and coached the right way. He’s only young, but he’s played a lot of games. He’s been abroad as well. He was keen to come and it gives him the avenue to do well for the club.
“There’s a lot of players out there and a lot of players out of contract. It just depends on the market we’re in financially to get the players in. We’re quite happy with the additions we’ve had so far – they’ll add to the squad that’s already here – and we’re hopeful of concluding a few deals this week. It’s important, because we’re obviously thin on the ground, but if we can do that, we’ll have a good core of the squad.”
Tyler Harvey has celebrated his 20th birthday this week by signing a new one year contract with Argyle. Harvey was offered the contract before Derek Adams arrived at the club but Adams confirmed that he was still very much interested in Harvey being a part of his squad. Harvey said that being considered as a striker was of particular significance in his decision to re-sign. John Sheridan played him more in a midfield role during his time at the club. Harvey explained: “It was pretty easy. That was music to my ears; I’ve always been a striker. One of my good assets, I think, is scoring, so it’s back to what I prefer doing. We’ll all bring each other on. You can’t get complacent because there’ll be six of us strikers now.”
Additionally, Derek Adams has made his third signing of the season for Argyle and his second in two days following the acquisition of Gregg Wylde on a year's contract. Wylde previously played for Rangers during their days of contending for the SPL title and most recently has lined up for Aberdeen and St Mirren. Wydle is a left-winger and will be a welcome boost to an Argyle squad who are understaffed in that position.
Former Argyle midfielder and coach Kevin Nancekivell is also back at Home Park. He has returned to the club in order to take the job of head of academy coaching - another role he has previously filled. Kevin worked with Argyle's academy prior to stepping up as part of Carl Fletcher's management administration and after a brief return to the academy following John Sheridan's permanent appointment as first team boss, Kevin joined up with fellow ex-Pilgrims Chris Hargreaves and Lee Hodges at Torquay United. Now back at Home Park, Kevin will support academy manager Kevin Hodges and his number two Shaun Taylor in helping to develop future generations of young Pilgrims.
Additionally, Argyle and Torquay have held talks over the potential sharing of the use of the Gulls' Seale-Hayne training ground. Due to the recent closure of Torquay's academy, the Torbay side are no longer in such need of all the facilities that the complex has to offer.
Argyle have made their second signing of the summer and have bolstered their forward options in doing so. 23 year old striker Jake Jervis has re-acquainted himself with manager Derek Adams whom he signed for last summer when Adams was managing Ross County. Like Adams' first signing Gary Sawyer, Jervis has joined on a one year contract. He has had previous spells with a variety of clubs with a mixed record on the whole. Jervis has a tendency to score on debuts- having done so on 6 separate occasions.
Louis Rooney and Callum Hall have officially began their professional careers at Argyle putting pen to paper on their first pro contracts today. The teenagers, apprentices last season, have formally signed the contract offers on the table and will join Derek Adams’ first-team squad when pre-season training begins early next month.|date|25 Jun 2015
Argyle have made their first signing of the 2015 summer window and it is a familiar one. Derek Adams moved on his 40th birthday to bring former pilgrim Gary Sawyer back to Home Park on a one year contract. Sawyer made his debut for the club in 2006 under Ian Holloway and left for Bristol Rovers in the summer of 2010. He has since played for Leyton Orient before electing to move back down to the Westcountry for a return to his former club. Sawyer played alongside many current Argyle players and staff during his first spell with us- Paul Wotton, Luke McCormick and Reuben Reid will all be familiar faces to him. Sawyer had this to say about his return: “Since I left, this has always been a place I wanted to come back to. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit and I’ve really enjoyed my time in London but I wanted to come back and I’m lucky enough that it fell right for me. The league’s changed but – the look of it, the people at the club – nothing else has really changed. I’m absolutely delighted to be back. I had a brief spell at Bristol City, then on to Bristol Rovers, then Leyton Orient; now I’m back round in a circle. It’s been enjoyable. When I left, for the reasons I left, it was the right time to go, but I’ve wanted to come back for a while now: this has been the one club that I’ve always kept close to my heart and I was really, really happy to get the chance to come back. I’ve still got some really good friends here, and a lot of the friends that I grew up with are Argyle fans. It’s horrible when you look back and you see a club that you hold so close to you – all my family support this club – struggling, and you witness it but can’t do anything to help it. It’s something you never want to see happen and I left as it happened. Even when I left, my mind-set was always that, when the time was right, I would come back down. I wanted this for a while, and I am delighted the new gaffer has given me the chance.”
Settling in is an objective that Derek Adams is concentrating on at the moment – both on and off the pitch. Whilst the new manager has been busy working on his managerial to-do list over the past week,he has also taken the time to organise a new place to live in Plymouth, as well as getting acquainted with his new surroundings. He gave his first impressions: "I’ve been away and had a wee look to see where to live over the last couple of days. It’s important that when you do move away, you settle very quickly, and I’m sure I’ll do that. It’s been nice: I’ve been out walking during the night. It’s been nice weather so it’s been nice to go and take in the sights – it’s probably a better way than driving about in your car! Pre-season will be here; we’ll train in the training parks. You have to assess the squad on the training field as well as matches. I’ll have a different coaching method to other managers, so until we get the players in for pre-season training, see their work ethic and see how they take on the information they’re given, it’s going to be difficult for me to know where the squad’s going to be, and how we’re going to set up.
“It’s been busy – it feels like I’ve been here for a month! I’ve only been here for a few days but it’s been a busy period of time. A lot of work has been concluded already, to do with pre-season training and organisation, so we’re in a good place there. The staff are obviously working on organising more friendlies. We hoped to have the fixtures in before now, so the staff are currently looking to get two games for two dates that are missing, so we’ll wait and see who they can get. One might be for here, one might be away from home, but I would definitely hope that one would be here to start the season. I think you always want to have home fixtures to start. It does allow us the time to settle in. We’ve got the first game away from home, but other than that we’ve got three games at home after that. It’s hopefully a good run of fixtures.”
Craig Brewster has been confirmed as the new assistant manager to Derek Adams at Argyle following the departures of Sean McCarthy, Rhys Wilmot and John Harbin. Brewster worked as Adams's assistant at Ross County until 2010 as part of his long career in which he has been a player, manager and assistant.
Rhys Wilmot confessed himself disappointed at certain aspects of how his departure as Argyle goalkeeping coach were handled but said that he was still absolutely happy to continue coaching the young kids in the Argyle academy. Wilmot gave his side of the story of his departure: "I have got to say I was disappointed to leave. I do believe I was offering something to the club, and to the goalkeepers, that was quite important really, in experience and the knowledge of the club. I was disappointed the way it all came out as well. I thought I deserved a bit more respect than I got from the club in that area. But I understand it's football, and new management comes in and things change. I don't know what direction the club is going in, in respect of the goalkeeping position. To me, I think the writing is on the wall. Primarily, I think it's a cost-cutting exercise. You have got to respect their decisions and move on, but I loved working with the goalkeepers. Although I was part-time, I did a fair amount of work there. I'm disappointed on one hand but I'm a Plymouth Argyle fan and I have got a bit of green blood running through me. I loved my time playing and coaching. I'm going to continue in the academy and carry on my work producing young goalkeepers for the club, so I will still be involved. I did enjoy my involvement at the top end with the professionals, especially working with Luke and James.
"I think it's a massively important role. It's a unique, stand-alone position. It's like no other really. If you are not a goalkeeper, sometimes it's difficult to explain the thinking behind the position. I prepared the goalkeepers during the week for the game on Saturday and it's as much physical and technical as it is psychological. It helps to have a crutch to lean on sometimes when things aren't going particularly well, in a position where sometimes you really are on your own and mistakes are highlighted to a massive degree. I think a goalkeeping coach is important for a goalkeeper, to be able to discuss and talk through things, and be there for them when things aren't going particularly well. It's easy when things are going well, and the job as a goalkeeping coach is easy as well. I know Luke is an exceptional goalkeeper and kept 20-odd clean sheets last season, but you have to prepare right. In my role, I think I gave him the right work and prepared him properly.
"I had a couple of difficult days where it was out there in the public domain and yet I couldn't really clarify where or not I had a role. Football clubs tend to be like that – a little bit of miscommunication sometimes – but there is no bitterness on my part. I'm going to move on. I wish the club all the best and I wish the goalkeepers at the club all the best. If somebody does come in and do the job that I did, I will wish them all the best as well because I know how difficult the role can be. There is no way I could stop working in the academy. I have got a group of young lads that I wouldn't say rely on me but we have got a tight-knit group and I need to continue to work with them and bring on. I couldn't leave them in the lurch and I love working with the kids, as much as I did working with the professionals. So I have decided to stay in the academy and continue my work there. I do love coaching and I'm more than happy to help the club in that area."
John Harbin has spoke out for the first time since being removed from his post at Plymouth Argyle following the arrival of Derek Adams. Harbin explained the circumstances around his departure and also revealed that he has accepted an offer to join a hitherto unnamed League One side. Harbin: "I can't disclose the name of the club but I will be starting work at a new club in the last week of June. It was three or four hours after Jason Turner rang me that I got another phone call. I will go into a new club and they will probably pay somebody off to leave. When you come into a job in football you know exactly what's going to happen. The only thing they don't tell you is the date it's going to happen. That's the law of the jungle. I have made a lot of good friends. I like the club and I like the people. Where I was staying down on the Barbican was a good area. I thought it was one of the best clubs I have been at actually, in terms of when you put the whole package together. I got on exceptionally well with all the players, the people around the club and the people in Plymouth itself. Everyone was just fantastic to me so I have got no complaints at all. I can't say a bad word about the club. I have been taken into clubs where they have got rid of people to bring me in, even at Argyle. It just happens. It's part and parcel of the job. You know that when you go into it. I have been in sport for a long time, and in English football for 13 years. When I was at Queens Park Rangers, Paulo Sousa came in as manager and didn't want me to leave and I stayed with him. But I have been on both sides of the fence. It's the prerogative of the manager. He calls the shots. Jason Turner has been very good. He keeps you informed. I think he was a little bit relieved that I accepted it the way I did but, as I said, you just know it's going to happen. I certainly don't hold any grudge. It's the game. It's what it's about. As every manager and every player will probably say, it's not a nice game."
Harbin also said that Argyle fans did not see the true John Sheridan during the latter's time managing the club, explaining: "Away from the media he's a different bloke. I have seen him lined up at a supermarket and pay for the lady in front's groceries because she had left her purse at home. He didn't want any money back. I have seen many, many acts of kindness from him, but he doesn't like the spotlight. He doesn't like the media, and it's not a personal thing. He just doesn't like it doing. He's a shy person and likes to keep his own counsel. He's very much a family man. As a family man, you get all the problems with your kids and things like that. He's no different to anybody else. When your are away from home that becomes doubly tough because you can't deal with it there and then. I'm not saying any of the problems were serious but it makes it very difficult when you are away from home. That's a football manager's life. But Plymouth is a long way from his home and the logistics got to him at times. I suppose my biggest disappointment in my time at Argyle was that the critics never got to know him. And, don't get me wrong, it's not the critics' fault. That was probably more down to him than them. They never got to know the real John Sheridan. He loves nothing better than walking his dog on a Saturday morning with his kids. And, of course, he does love his football. There were times when I felt for him.
"He's quick witted and comes out with stuff from nowhere. He just ad libs. But he's only relaxed within his circle of friends and family. That's when he's at ease. He has got a good track record when you think that the three clubs he has been at, he has got all them promoted or in the play-offs. I think the thing he found most difficult at this level was that as a player he was much, much better than the players he was managing. I can quote numerous examples of that, of really good players who become managers and just can't understand why players can't do what they could do. It just came automatic to him. He was a natural footballer. The expectation levels of the fans are reasonably high but I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Maybe their timeframe is sometimes unrealistic but they want the best and I don't see anything wrong with that. They expect people to put 100 per cent effort in and I can look in the mirror and say I gave Argyle 100 per cent. That's what the fans expect – you stand up and be counted."
Derek Adams may not have been Argyle manager for long but that does not mean that he hasn't been busy so far in assessing the players at this disposal and considering where his squads needs adding to. Adams also said that he has spoken to Anthony O'Connor and Tyler Harvey who are currently considering contract offers to stay at Home Park- Adams said that he will be hoping to speak to both of them soon: “We’re working on things," said Derek. "I had a meeting with the chairman, just to go over the budget, so now we can go forward and try and get players in. We’re working on it. I’m not even a week into the job yet; obviously we have to add to the squad, and depending on the budget we have to work to the constraints of that. That’s what we’ll do, and we’ll be ready for August 8. Over the last week we’ve been assessing what we have in the squad, and assessing players that we are going to take in, and we will get to the point where we’ll make signings. We obviously need to get a team on the park that’s going to excite the fans, and to do that you need to win games. We’ll go and try and get the best players we possibly can under the budget. We have spoken to Anthony O’Connor’s agent,” said Adams, “and we’ve spoken to Tyler Harvey. We’ll have something definite in the coming weeks, or earlier.”
Adams also confirmed Reuben Reid will miss the start of the season due to the operation he undertook to help cure his foot injury. He said: “He’ll not be ready for the start of next season. He’ll be recovering from the foot operation, but unable to train with the players. He’s scored a lot of goals and had a good career so far. I think he can do even better with his career; he’s got the potential to do that. We’re looking to help him on the coaching field to improve him and help him to move forward.”
Finally, Argyle confirmed that James Bittner has accepted his contract offer to remain an Argyle player for the coming season and Derek Adams revealed that the former Salisbury goalkeeper will also be taking goalkeeping duties for the coming season in addition to being Luke McCormick's number two. Adams went on to explain more about the club restructuring he has planned by saying:“James Bittner is going to be the number two, and is going push Luke, but he is also going to take on the responsibility of pushing the goalkeepers on a daily basis. James has agreed to stay for next season and I’m delighted with that. Rhys was here on a part-time basis, so we just thought it would be better if we had someone here on a full-time basis. They’ve obviously left the football club. When a new manager comes in he has to assess the staff that have been there, and the staff that are going to come in. We’ve reduced the working staff – we’ve made it a wee bit tighter – and we’re looking to take in other staff to do that.”
Argyle's visit to the Globe Arena to face Morecambe, previously scheduled for Easter Saturday, has been moved forward a day to Good Friday March 25th. The game will still kick off at 3pm.
Derek Adams is ready to renew rivalries with old acquaintance Terry Butcher when Argyle and Newport lock horns in August. He explained his long standing relationship with the former England defender. Adams: "Terry was my manager at Motherwell and he was very good for me. Then we came up against each other as managers and we had really tough affairs. I'm looking forward to seeing him again and re-engaging our battle. With Ross County we made long trips every other week so nothing fazes me from that point of view. It was through hard work, organisation, and having the enthusiasm and the drive to get a football club out of the divisions they were in. I want to do likewise here."|date|17 Jun 2015
Argyle will begin the new Sky Bet League Two season at AFC Wimbledon on August 8th. Three home games then follow: the midweek Capital One Cup game against Gillingham and then Portsmouth on August 15th and Carlisle three days later. Apart from entertaining Yeovil on Boxing Day, the Pilgrims will face road trips to Hartlepool and Carlisle before and throughout the Christmas and the New Year period. Our final away game is the same as last season's open day- a trip to Cambridge. The season will end with the home match against Hartlepool (and hopefully promotion celebrations) at Home Park.
Argyle have been drawn at home to Gillingham in the first Round of the Capital One (League) Cup. The tie will most likely be played on Tuesday 11th August.
Three more pre-season friendlies have been announced, as well as the game at Torquay on Tuesday 28th July. Argyle sides will play at Elburton Villa on Tuesday 14th, Bideford on Saturday 18th and Bath City on Tuesday 21st July.
Argyle are reported to be in advanced discussions with a new backroom team to support manager Derek Adams. The club has announced that first-team coach Sean McCarthy, performance coach John Harbin, goalkeeping coach Rhys Wilmot (formally confirming his release following announcing it on social media on Saturday) along with chief scout Darren Sheridan (brother of John) have all left the club following Adams's appointment. James Brent said "Derek has identified who he would like to work with and we're fairly well-advanced in those discussions." Harbin and McCarthy joined the coaching staff in the summer of 2013. Wilmot, who stepped up from the academy at that time, is likely to continue his work with the club's youngsters. The only member of the coaching staff not to leave is former captain Paul Wotton, who retired from playing at the end of the season. "I'm very grateful to the coaching staff that have left us," added Brent. "You need to remember that we did come from 21st to 10th to 7th, so John and his team did a good job. But it is one of the features of football that when a new manager comes in he will tend to replace most, if not all, of his coaching staff."
Social media has reported the untimely death of former-Pilgrim Dougie Anderson at the age of 51, following a heart attack. Anderson played 22 times for Argyle in the 1987-88 season, after joining from Tranmere Rovers and before moving to play for Double Flower in Hong Kong (his birth-place), although he remained local to the area after retiring from the game.
Local media have reported that new Argyle boss Derek Adams is understood to be lining up Craig Brewster as his assistant manager. The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Dundee United striker previously worked as the right-hand man to Adams at Ross County.|date|13 Jun 2015
Torquay United will host Plymouth Argyle in a pre-season friendly for the second successive season, ahead of the 2015-16 campaign this summer. Argyle head to Plainmoor on Tuesday July 28 for a 7.45pm kick-off.
Rhys Wilmot has issued a comment on social media stating that he had been released from his position of goalkeeping coach at Home Park, following the appointment of Derek Adams.|date|12 Jun 2015
Derek Adams has already made the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs his number one target. The new Argyle manager began work at Home Park on Thursday and revealed his ambition within hours of taking charge and later went on to speak about how his successes at Ross County were achieved. The new gaffer said: “You’ve always got targets and you always want to do well. Plymouth Argyle had a fantastic season last season, getting into the play-offs, and I think we’ve got to push to get there again. It’s a long journey, but this is a big football club. It’s a pleasure to come here and work for Argyle. It wants to get back to where it thinks it belongs, and that’s in the Championship. For me, that’s the ambition this football club wants to show. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to try to make the football club successful, like John Sheridan did before, to move that on.
“It was achieved by a lot of hard work; by bringing a lot of people – the community – together. It was about not only building a first team, but also building a football club and I think that’s important. It’s important to try to build a football club and that’s what we’ll try to do here. At any football club, you want to look after the youngsters and I think that brings the whole community together – you want to see a local player coming into the first team, through the youth academy and, finally, playing for Plymouth Argyle. I think that’s what could benefit the whole city. Coming here and hopefully using the skills I have from being at Ross County and moving that on to Argyle, that’ll help me. They’ll be expected to work hard, that’s the main thing. If they can work hard, they’ll get plenty of information from myself and my coaching staff to improve. We’ll improve them as people and as football players. One thing they’ll want to do is create an enthusiastic atmosphere at the games, which it can be. Over the years, they’ve taken a lot of fans away from home but the enthusiasm at home is beneficial as well. Strengthening is a priority and obviously we’ve got a core of the squad from last season. We’ll definitely obviously have to add to that and, over the coming weeks, and we look to do so.I think that, when you’re under pressure, sometimes you perform better; you know you want to do well. I’m driven, I’m determined and I want to succeed. With that, you’re going to get pressure and that’s what drives me on.”
Adams is also convinced that Plymouth Argyle is the right job for him and elaborated about the style of football that he planned to play, saying:: "I'm looking forward to it. I said when I got my next job it had to be the right club and I feel this is the right club. It's a club that want to go forward and I believe I can do that with Plymouth Argyle. I have been watching English football for a number of years now, and played in England at an early age with Burnley. Argyle did really well last year and pushed into that play-off position.
"I think that anything is possible. Trying to get promotion is the achievement the club want, and that's why I'm here. The reason I have moved is to better myself and I feel I have done that coming to this part of Devon. You obviously want to have a creative approach to the game and play a style of football that is going to please the fans. But the one thing that will please the fans is winning football matches, and that's the major focus here, especially at home. You want to have players that are creative, scoring goals and bringing the fans back to the stadium."
Adams also said it was too early to make any definite decisions about the future of the coaching staff that he inherited from John Sheridan- with question marks hanging over the shoulders of John's brother Darren as well as Rhys Wilmot, Paul Wotton, Sean McCarty and John Harbin. Adams kept his cards close to his chest by saying: "I'm just in today and it's something that I have to discuss with the chairman over the next week or so."
Skipper Curtis Nelson made a point of saying how much he is looking forward to working with the new man in charge. The 22-year-old met Adams for the first time on Thursday, shortly before the latter's introductory media conference in the boardroom at Home Park. Nelson took Adams over to the Harper's Park training ground and the pair got to know each other on the way. The central defender said that he had already done some research into Adams, and his record as manager at Scottish club Ross County after reading rumours of his appointment:"We walked over to the training ground and had a chat on the way. It was really good just to meet him and put a face to a name. I didn't know much about him before he arrived but I had seen the rumours and had a little read. He has got a really good record up in Scotland. At one stage, they were unbeaten in 40 league games. Obviously he's a good manager and I'm looking forward to working with him. You have got to take your hat off to what John Sheridan achieved with the club. I did enjoy playing under him. He did make me captain and you have got to be thankful for that. But, as is football, circumstances have arisen and he has moved on. You have got to wish him all the best in the future for whatever he does. It was very disappointing. It's one of those things where you want to forget about it, but you have also got to learn from it as well. I think that's the main thing. We achieved the play-offs and we didn't quite make the final grade but we have got a base to build on."
Owner James Brent gave his full backing to Adams and revealed how the Scotsman had passed a 'boardroom test' of attributes needed to become the new manager. He first revealed how the club had over 100 applicants for the job which they longlisted down to 18 and then shortlisted down to 6. After that, Brent explained: “We spent about an hour and a half at our board meeting that followed John Sheridan’s departure from the club two weeks ago and identified 11 characteristics that we wanted for our new manager. We then matched our six shortlisted candidates against those characteristics. The panel scored independently without showing the results and Derek was unanimously number one. It was a very boring quantifying-based ‘what do we want?’ and how do each of the candidates compare with each other. You hear of people liking someone on Match of the Day and the chairman making the decision himself to recruit him. But this was board decision that the board made unanimously and that was based on all due diligence.
“When the job came up he applied very quickly. But at that stage we already knew about him. So we’re delighted that Derek is joining us. We had candidates who ranged from very experienced managers to very driven younger coaches and assistant managers who hadn’t managed a first team yet. We looked at them in the round and Derek has got, for someone of his age, that youthful passion as well as a lot of experience. Not only is Derek an experienced manager he is one with an experience of success but has also had experience managing relegation teams too. We’re looking at a young manager with an enthusiasm to do well. He’s clearly young, he’s enthusiastic, he’s got a huge amount that he wants to achieve and yet he’s demonstrated that within a very short space of time and with a budget which is a lot smaller than our budget he can get to fifth in the Scottish Premier League.”
Brent also praised his fellow directors on the Plymouth Argyle board for their diligence in making such a quick turnover from John Sheridan's resignation two weeks ago to Derek Adams's unveiling yesterday. He believed that the process could not have been done any quicker than it was: “From John saying he wanted to leave to recruiting Derek has been two weeks and we’ve gone through the process in a really diligent fashion.Hiring a senior member of management in two weeks is always going to be challenging – especially in an industry when you’re going to have lots of people looking on and asking why you’re not moving faster. It’s something which, if you’re not very careful, can be very high risk so do you really need to be just focussed on making the right decision. You have to make sure that you longlist and shortlist very rapidly and make sure you’re very disciplined and diligent doing that. Every single candidate we saw was assessed against 11 criteria and it was analysis against those criteria which determined who got the job. We had some truly exceptional candidates with something in the region of 100 people interested in the job. When John stepped down he said to us that we would be inundated with managers because Argyle is such a great club – and that’s what happened. It is a club that should be doing much better than it is. And it’s got the infrastructure to be playing at a much higher level in the Football League structure. I think we got very lucky with John Sheridan. When it’s January and you’re stuck in a relegation battle that could see you drop out of the Football League it can be very hard to find a new manager – and even harder to get the right man to do the job. We were by no means an attractive prospect to anyone. But he came in and completely turned us around. He kept us up and gave us a fantastic foundation moving forward. For him to take us from 21st, to 10th, and then 7th in his time here is something that we are very grateful for.”
Finally, Argyle have confirmed that they will play Torquay United away on Tuesday July 28th in a 7.45pm kick-off. This is the first pre-season match that the club have confirmed.
Argyle have confirmed the news that fans have been waiting for for weeks- Derek Adams has been appointed as the club's new manager, replacing John Sheridan who departed by mutual consent two weeks ago. 39 year old former Ross County manager Adams has been out of the game since September after he was sacked by the Highlands side. He enjoyed 6 successful years there however, punctuated by a brief spell in between as the assistant manager of Hibernian. Adams and Brighton coach Nathan Jones were believed to be the two leading candidates for the vacancy but Adams finally got the nod. He is about to move from the most northerly professional football club in Britain to the most southerly. Adams has put pen to paper on a two year contract that will see him remain at Home Park until the summer of 2017.
It has been revealed that Reuben Reid had an operation on his foot after the end of the season- due to a weakness in his left foot that troubled him for the greater part of the previous campaign and caused him to play through a pain barrier after flaring the injury up after he scored his hat-trick in the 3-1 away victory at Exeter City in February. Physio Paul Atkinson explained the need for the operation and also said that he hopes Reid will be back to full fitness by the time the players return for pre-season in July. Atkinson: "It's a very complicated problem in his foot and we are using the off season to take steps to try to rectify things as best we can. To be fair to Reuben, he played on when a lot of others would have said they couldn't. Reuben had quite a few things going on in his foot and was struggling at the end of the season. I think that's well known by everybody. He was playing with a lot of pain and I think that in order to give him the best chance of starting the next season without this problem recurring it was necessary to do a small operation on his foot. He is now recovering from that and will be there or thereabouts for the start of pre-season training. I can only do what I can do to make him as good as he can be. Once I have done that I can advise them but, ultimately, the decision rests with them."
Lewis Alessandra has rejected Argyle's offer of a contract extension and has instead decided to sign for League One side Rochdale, managed by former Argyle player Keith Hill. Alessandra spent two years as an Argyle player after signing for the club in the summer of 2013. He was offered a new contract by the club the day after Argyle's play-off semi-final loss to Wycombe but elected to move up a division and closer to his family by signing for the Lancashire side. He scored 25 goals in all competitions in his two years with Argyle. Alessandra explained his reasons for leaving: "I want to thank everyone at PAFC, sad to be leaving a really great club. I loved every minute in a green and white shirt and like to think I gave it my all. I hope people understand my decision of wanting to be closer to my son and family. Want to wish everyone at the club, the lads, staff and the fans all the very best in the future .As a footballer you have to be prepared to travel, that is the nature of the job and it is something you get used to. I had two really good years at Plymouth Argyle and really enjoyed myself. I played a lot of games over two seasons. Keith Hill contacted me and I was very pleased not only to be playing for him but to move up a division and come back home."
Argyle are seeking a Football Secretary. The position has become available as a result the imminent departure from Home Park of General Manager and Club Secretary Jason Turner. Turner will leave Argyle in July after four years at the club, to oversee the day-to-day running of Newport County. Details of how to apply for the post can be found on the official Argyle website.
Argyle have announced a shirt sponsorship partnership with Plymouth University next season. Following a one season only special partnership between the club, the fans trust and the RBL, the University will instead sponsor the back of the shirt for next season. Argyle players will display the message ‘Succeed with Plymouth University’ on the back of their new home and away shirts. LTC will continue to sponsor the front of the shirt. Martyn Starnes said:“We are delighted to take our burgeoning relationship with Plymouth University on to the next level and look forward to further developing the partnership for the benefit of the local community as a whole. We will be welcoming students to Home Park on internships and work-placements, as well as giving the opportunity to students and staff to undertake academic projects in which they utilise the club as part of their educational programmes and world class research. We are planning ‘Student Special’ matches and will provide students and staff with discounted match tickets, and we hope our growing relationship will encourage more of the 28,000 students attending Plymouth University to develop an affinity for Argyle as we bid for promotion from Sky Bet League 2.”
Argyle have reportedly begun interviews for the vacant position of manager this weekend with a rumoured shortlist of six but one name unlikely to be amongst the six is Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs who was linked to the position by fans last week- at least, according to his own club. An unnamed Hibernian source told the Plymouth media:“I can see why Plymouth would want him because he has done a fantastic job since taking over at Hibernian. His family are based in Merseyside and I think it would be easier to get back there from Scotland than it would be from Plymouth. I would be astonished if Stubbs made the move, he has already made a few signing for Hibernian for next season and is under contract, so compensation would be needed. He is held in high regard and has been linked to Championship jobs in the past. No disrespect to Plymouth but I don’t think Alan would drop down that far. Maybe if he was without a club, but not as things stand.”
Argyle have unveiled their new away kit for the 2015/16 season and it is a colour never worn by the greens before. It is a light shade of purple and has been dubbed 'royal lilac'. The lilac is not only the colour of the shirt but of the shorts and socks as well. The kit as modelled by Curtis Nelson is available to view in full and pre-order on the club's official website.
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